CLEVELAND — As Ronald Hicks appeared in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court on Tuesday morning, he was set to be sentenced just weeks after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter and endangering children from a June 2021 incident connected to the death of a 2-year-old boy.
But sentencing never happened as Hicks announced his desire to withdraw his guilty plea, which was made back on May 12.
His defense attorney offered the following statement to Judge Deborah Turner: “I’ve had some extensive conversations this morning with both Mr. Hicks and his family, and it’s my understanding that Mr. Hicks wishes to file a motion to withdraw his guilty plea in this matter. … He’s saying that he’s innocent to this charge and that it wasn’t a good idea to enter a guilty plea to something he didn’t do."
Despite their request for 30 days to file that motion, Judge Turner instead offered the defense until Wednesday, June 15. The state then has until Wednesday, July 6, to file their response.
Hicks, 26, who remains in custody, is due back in court for a follow-up hearing at 9 a.m. on Monday, July 18.
The incident dates back to June 11, 2021, when Hicks was watching the 2-year-old victim along with two other children near West 39th Street and Archwood Avenue in Cleveland. Authorities said Hicks violently shook the boy and then called police, reportedly saying he had found the child with a plastic bag on his head.
The child, identified as Ryan Mounts, later died at the hospital. The cause of death was determined to be head and neck injuries, which resulted in Hicks’ arrest.
Based on the plea agreement that Hicks requested to withdraw, court records show both parties in the case had agreed to a recommended prison sentence that ranges from 15-18 years with no early release.
Editor's note: Video in the player above was originally published in an unrelated story on May 31, 2022.